Look, we get it: Your kitchen tends to be the catchall for bills, junk mail, dirty dishes…half-crusted cans of cat food… But the more cluttered and chaotic it gets, the worse it is for your waistline, according to a new study published in Environment and Behavior.
Here’s why: A messy kitchen basically sends a signal to your brain that everything in your life is out of control. This is super bad for diets because it leads your brain to then think, well, if everything around me is out of control, I must be out of control, too. In other words, it’s no big deal if I eat an entire bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.
To test this, researchers at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab asked stressed-out women to sit tight and wait in a messy kitchen with a sink full of dirty dishes, newspapers on the table and a phone ringing off the hook. Within ten minutes, they ate twice as many cookies compared with women who were hanging in a clean and organized kitchen.
The takeaway? Clutter is the goddamn worst.